Multiprotocol functionality for Industry 4.0

8th June 2017
Posted By : Joe Bush
Multiprotocol functionality for Industry 4.0

A range of Ethernet IO modules have been introduced by Pepperl+Fuchs which support all common Ethernet protocols, such as PROFINET, EtherNet/IP, and EtherCAT, in a single device. The integrated IO-Link master function allows diagnosis and parameterisation.

The L-coded M12 power plug provides a current of up to 16A and reduces installation costs. Modules with an integrated logic function can tackle autonomous applications, completely replace control panels, or deal only with status messages. As such, these fieldbus modules form the foundation for Industry 4.0 solutions. EtherNet IO modules offer IO-Link sensor/actuator connections, function across multiple protocols, and are supplied with 16A via the M12 power plug.

The multiprotocol feature permits standardisation in the machine where different module types were previously required. A rotary switch makes it possible to switch between the PROFINET, EtherNet/IP and EtherCAT protocols. The integrated web server facilitates downloads and parameterisation, and also provides a diagnostics indicator.

IO-Link compatible sensors and actuators can be connected, configured and parameterised using the integrated 8-way IO-Link master. Key benefits of this solution include transparent diagnosis and the ease with which devices can be replaced thanks to the redundant data storage.

The power concept with an L-coded M12 plug-in connector provides a connection and power supply of up to 16A, thereby reducing the need for parallel wiring and supply adjustments. The robust, fully cast metal housing has an IP65/67/69 degree of protection and is compact at only 200mm long and 18mm high.

Some simple programming work is all that is needed for the modules to perform distributed functions and to take the load off the central control panel, or replace this completely. Communication costs and reaction times are reduced, while a central overview is retained. The distributed logic can be limited to some of the IOs, while the others continue under the central control panel. This permits an interaction between the control panel and the distributed process program.


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